Meals on Wheels still rolling in tough times

During the Meals on Wheels AGM, delicious smells wafted into the hall from the kitchen where, from left, Stephanie Limenyande, Sardieka Solomons, qualified chef Justin Herselman and Jaidyn Fortuin were working their magic.

Meals On Wheels in Plumstead has survived the pandemic so far, but its finances show that if the charity keeps having to dip into the kitty, next year will be its last.

This is according to its financial director Simba Madzana. He presented the Plumstead branch’s financial statement at the annual general meeting on Thursday September 16.

Stephanie Jacobs, the manager of the branch, said they had had overwhelming support from the community during lockdown. None of their staff or clients had died from Covid-19, and, in fact, the members had gotten fatter and healthier, she said.

When Covid-19 hit they had not known what to do as many of their volunteers were over 60, making them vulnerable to the virus, she said.

“People were scared and emotional, not knowing what to expect. But we adapted and would see our members once a month, with no contact. We could not have done it alone,” she said, thanking their supporters who helped to supply food, transport and other basic needs to the elderly.

Meals on Wheels, Plumstead services the elderly from Claremont to Muizenberg and is one of 20 branches in the Western Cape.

According to Ms Jacobs, they have 152 registered beneficiaries and provided 34 689 meals during the previous year, as of the end of February – a 69% increase from the previous year.

The organisation has 11 volunteers who deliver the meals.

Ms Jacobs said they needed a new vehicle as the one they were using was very old and needed a lot of maintenance.

In the past year, the organisation has done away with polystyrene to package meals delivered to its members and it now employs a qualified chef who, with his team, produces nutritious meals.

If you can help, or require Meals On Wheels services, contact Leona Binedell, at 021 761 2443, or

The Meals On Wheels AGM was attended by about 18 board members, stakeholders and volunteers, at the centre in Main Road, Plumstead.